How To Wear White Tie

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White tie is probably the most formal attire a person can wear, without being decked out in medals and a uniform. These days it isn’t really worn much, but every once in a while you will find it brought back into practice. And in this day and age where detachable collars no longer exist, you may need to know what how to pull off this classic and elegant look.

The Shirt 

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First off, you’ll need a nice cotton dress shirt. it needs to be plain fronted (by which I mean, no pleats) with a wing collar, double cuffs and with studs, not buttons (although stud buttons are an OK alternative)

The Trousers 

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Evening trousers with a satin stripe, please. Which means no belt, so suspenders (braces for you yanks) and you should keep those in white.

The Waistcoat

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The waistcoat should be white obviously, and made of marcella cotton, and ideally will be backless, this allows ventilation, and a little breeze up there can be a god send in a crowded ballroom

The Tie

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The Tie should be made of a marcella cotton, that matches the waistcoat. And should always be the kind of tie that you have to tie yourself. You can always tell when someone is wearing a ready made bow tie, especially when worn with a wing collar.

The Tails 

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You should be wearing a black tailcoat with silk peak lapels, the buttons should also be silk covered.

Shoes 

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Patent leather black lace ups are the only thing that can be worn well with white tie. Keep it simple though, a little brogue like design is OK, but anything over the top will just ruin the look

Accessories 

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You can Add your own personal touches with a pocket watch, cufflinks a pocket square or a boutonniere shoved in your button hole.

How To Wear Black Tie

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I’ve had a lot of formal things to go to over the last few weeks and and it seems to me that no one does black tie anymore, its all lounge suits and regular ties. Black tie is a dying thing. But if you ever thought of bringing it back here are few things that you should remember

  1. Black tie means black (with one or two exceptions). Black is elegant and chic and on most (not all) people is pretty slimming and whilst there has been a fashion for navy blue lately this really doesn’t work well in daylight, or environments where there is going to be a lot of light
  2. The Bow Tie and Lapel material should always match (as should a cummerbund). The only exception to this rule is if you are going for a velvet bow tie (which you should only really consider if you’re wearing a velvet jacket).
  3. Cummerbund vs Waistcoat: This debate has raged for decades, and while either is fine you should bear in mind a few things, waistcoats are hot, but cummerbunds are a little impractical if you have a little bit (or a lot of) a stomach.
  4. If your shirt has buttons on the cuff it is not a dress shirt, dress shirts require cufflinks and the buttons are either hidden or are replaced with studs, the point of black tie is to hide all practical points of clothing, buttons are either missing or covered.
  5. Wing collars, fashions change so don’t feel that you have to have a wing collar, but they do look good.
  6. Shoes should be black leather, whether they are patent leather or not is a personal choice, but it does add to look if they are.

I hope this has helped in some way or another, and you rock up to your next formal dressed to kill

Political Style (Or Lack There Of)

The clothes make the man, or so they say. So here is a little look at the uniform of the wannabe politician (or should I say me). The blue suit is always a classic look, but adding pinstripes to the look adds a dash of power. Also add in the double breasted look and your on to a winner.

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Now the shirt is something to be wary of, don’t go for anything too outlandish, I would stick with a plain white, long sleeved shirt.

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Accessorise with a red, paisley tie and pocket square

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Further accessories should include a flag pin or a poppy. (Depending on the time of year)

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Then finish the look off with a pair of tan brogues, the pointier the better, (make sure they’re polished). Now many people will say that you should go for oxfords, not brogues, however I don’t think this applies to tan shoes, although I would never wear brown brogues.

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So there you have it, further proof that I’m capable of putting together an outfit that is actually on point.